|Namesake:||Previous name retained|
|Builder:||Luther Finder, Key West, Florida|
|Acquired:||29 April 1917|
|Commissioned:||26 May 1917|
|Fate:||Transferred to United States Department of Agriculture 4 November 1920|
|Notes:||Operated as private motorboat Panama 1914-1917|
|Length:||78 ft (24 m)|
|Beam:||21 ft (6.4 m)|
|Draft:||4 ft (1.2 m)|
Panama was built as a civilian motorboat in 1914 by Luther Finder, at Key West, Florida. During her period in commercial service, she saw extensive use in laying underwater telegraph cable for Western Union in and around Key West, and may also have been used as a passenger ship.
Panama was assigned to the 7th Naval District, headquartered at Key West. She patrolling in and around Key West during the war and occasionally operated in Caribbean waters. On 24 August 1918, during a voyage from the Panama Canal Zone to the United States, she sighted two possible German submarines on her port bow. She pursued them until dark, despite heavy weather which prevented a surface attack.
Panama was transferred to the United States Department of Agriculture on 4 November 1920.
- This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships. The entry can be found here.
- Department of the Navy Naval Historical Center Online Library of Selected Images: Civilian Ships: Panama (American Motor Boat, 1914). Served as USS Panama (SP-101) in 1917-1920
- NavSource Online: Section Patrol Craft Photo Archive: Panama (SP 101)